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Sustainable Spa Association reveals that a third of spa businesses contribute to United Nations SDGs

Sustainable Spa Association reveals that a third of spa businesses contribute to United Nations SDGs
March 2, 2021

Just 33% of spa businesses around the world contribute to the United Nations’ 17 SDG Development Goals (SDGs) according to a newly released survey conducted by The Sustainable Spa Association (SSA).

Included in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, agreed by 193 states, the SDGs provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

The recent published findings follow the SSA’s first survey in 2020 which received responses from 203 participants in 44 countries.

Questions explored a number of ways in which spa businesses have been contributing to sustainability, including people, policies, energy, water and waste protocols.

Respondents were asked about the current level of understanding of environmental sustainability, attitudes towards and the important places on sustainable business practice, current levels of implementation, key drivers and obstacles.

Results showed that the biggest obstacle that prevents sustainable practices in spas is difficulty finding suppliers with sustainable values (26%).

The next most popular answers were not sure where to start (16%), lack of education for spa teams (14%), too much conflicting information (9%), difficulty engaging teams (5%), lack of time (5%) and it’s too big a task (5%).

Commenting on the findings, SSA co-founder Lucy Brialey stated “sustainability can be embedded in spa businesses for their longterm progress and success.

“Yes, sustainability is predominately about environment credentials but also strengthens business credibility and transparency. It’s a healthy message that can be communicated to investors, spa professionals and guests in a way that shows commitment and quality assurance.”

Significantly, the survey did shows that 84% of respondents adopt energy-efficient practices, 75% use energy from renewable sources, 76 have a water-saving and reduction strategy and 59% have plastic reduction goals.

The survey response has helped the organisation identify key drivers to make sustainability an integral part of more spa business’ culture, including a specific focus on how to measure and improve sustainable practice and providing accessible team education.

The findings have informed the SSA about how to best shape its direction for 2021.

This has led to an action plan with plans to work on the following:

• Accessible membership and education
• Recognised and trusted accreditation for spas
• Diplomas in spa sustainability for teams and management
• UN’s 17 SDGs becoming naturally applied to spas
• Water, waste and energy management
• Emphasising the importance and an awareness of humanity, health and environment.

In addition, the SSA will launch two campaigns in 2021 to keep momentum behind the spa industry’s journey towards sustainability, including an educational #spawastenotchallenge in April and an initiative about pledging to reduce less single-use plastic that will run until 2024.

Click here to download a full copy of the report.

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